Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Back to teaching. We'll begin with the ultimate ethos move, students introducing themselves to the class, a collective trauma to knit a classroom community together in a flash and get everybody accustomed to talking and putting names to faces. Then today's practical workshopping: audience and intentions... What is the text's audience? How do you know? Are you part of it? Does your answer impact the way you read the text? Do you think the author imagined her audience as sympathetic, unsympathetic, or apathetic? What signs lead you to think so? What are the intentions of the piece? What claims are being made? Is there a conspicuous thesis? Do authors really know their intentions? How do texts argue differently when they seek to question conventions, change minds, change conduct, reconcile intractable conflict? Finally, we'll talk about Euripides tragedy Hecuba. A woman at point zero redeems herself through an agentic practice of rhetoric (at the height of which a queen reduced to slavery declares her conqueror the slave), or an almost pornographic spectacle of suffering revealing there is to be no redemption from finitude for anyone, and rhetoric a space of infinite rationalization and cynicism. Yesterday's class went well enough, I find myself in a windowless classroom in a sub-basement of a library building on campus, feeling much more than usually cut off from the world down there. Weird. Students asked questions about the syllabus and course policies so I'm hoping that means I've got a group of talkers this time around. Conversation is so much livelier than lecturing. We'll see how Euripides grabbed them. Tomorrow there will be some group work on Kant and that should be the true test of classroom dynamic this time around.